Ethanol Update: Heading down the RFS home stretch

There is a lot of activity and rhetoric (mostly rhetoric) flying around about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) right now. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to finalize it’s adjusted RFS numbers on Nov. 30, which means Big Oil and its cronies are out in full force banging the anti-ethanol drum and doing whatever they can to get others to buy into the myths and misinformation they spread about cleaner-burning homegrown biofuels.

For this week’s Ethanol Update, let’s take a look at some of the more laughable anti-ethanol attacks from Big Oil and their minions. We’ll also highlight how corn farmers and biofuels supporters are responding.

(NOTE: If you need a refresher on what the RFS is and how EPA and Big Oil and trying to slash it, click here.)

API conducts its own poll
The American Petroleum Institute (aka Big Oil) recently released the results of a “poll” it conducted that showed 77 percent of Americans were “concerned” about increasing the amount of ethanol blended in our fuel supply as originally called for in the RFS.

Gee, what a shocker! Big Oil conducts a poll and, whaddayaknow? the results come out drastically in favor of Big Oil’s misguided viewpoints.

Too bad the facts don’t match the oil industry’s laughable polling numbers:

  • An independent poll from Morning Consult in April found that more than 6 in 10 American voters support the RFS and less than 2 in 10 oppose it.
  • The RFS enjoys broad, bipartisan support — 65 percent of Democrats support it, so do 61 percent of independents and 57 percent of republicans.
  • This 2014 report laid out the facts about the RFS and combated the many myths pushed by API in their “poll.”
  • What people really are against is spending more than $5 billion every year subsidizing the oil industry.

The “poll” also said 77 percent of Americans were concerned about corn being grown for fuel instead of being used to feed the poor. Does anyone still buy the silly food vs. fuel argument? That myth has been shot down time and time again.

Combating climate change
Fuels America has released a video about President Obama’s choice in the RFS battle: Support an oil industry that has been lying about climate change for years, or support his own scientists whose conclusions show that a strong RFS helps reduce harmful emissions and slows down the damaging effects of climate change.

The video can be viewed here.

More importantly, you can click here to view the video on Facebook and share it on your own timeline. It’s really important that all corn farmers and ethanol supporters share this video as much as possible, so take a second and hit the share button before moving on to whatever else you plan on doing on the internet.

Climate talk ad
As Obama heads to the international UN climate talks, Fuels America placed an ad in the New York Times urging the president to stand strong on the RFS and show that the United States is willing to lead by example on climate change.

The ad can viewed below:

FA-climate-talks-ad (2)

Corn farmers and clean-air supporters can also amplify this message via social media. Here are a few sample Tweets:

  • The renewable fuel industry is already producing the cleanest, lowest carbon motor fuels in the world #RFS
  • Mr. President, we’re ready to help our nation lead on climate at #COP21. It can’t happen without the #RFS
  • Mr. President, don’t hand the oil industry a huge victory as you head to #COP21

Decade of RFS success
Growth Energy co-chair Tom Buis wrote about the RFS in this op-ed for Here’s the money quote:

The RFS is the only policy to ever have loosened the oil industry’s stranglehold on the liquid fuels marketplace and the only policy that will help us kick our dangerous addiction to foreign oil. Since the enactment of the RFS in 2005, our dependence on foreign oil has been cut by more than half — from 60 percent to 27 percent. And, instead of sending nearly a billion dollars a day overseas, we are investing right here at home.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota…
Here in Minnesota, we’re not running any type of last-minute RFS campaign or asking corn farmers to contact their elected leaders as the deadline approaches. We led those campaigns earlier in the process and were quite successful.

Instead, we’re moving forward in making sure fuels with higher blends of ethanol are more readily available to consumers. If the oil industry refuses to comply with the RFS and EPA and the Obama administration are willing to let them off the hook, it’s up to us to take action.

  • Several Coborn’s/Little Duke’s locations recently installed flex-fuel pumps with the support of a broad coalition that includes the Minnesota Corn Growers. We participated in fueling promotions at the six sites last week.

  • Minnesota will soon be home to an additional 620 flex-fuel pumps thanks to an $8 million grant from USDA. The funds will be matched by MCGA and other coalition groups.
  • A common anti-RFS talking point from Big Oil concerns the so-called blend wall, which assumes that we’ve already reached the maximum amount of ethanol (10 percent) we can blend in our fuel supply due to infrastructure limitations. Here in Minnesota, we’ve blown apart that 10 percent blend wall myth. Our fuel supply contains 12.2 percent ethanol, proving that you can go beyond 10 percent if you actually try. Unfortunately, by refusing to comply with the RFS, Big Oil is doing anything but trying.

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